Musée dOrsay Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York 

The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York 
The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York 


The French ship Isère, from the port of Rouen two months earlier, arrives in New York, with on board the statue called “Liberty enlightening the world”. Symbol of the friendship between France and the United States since American independence, this bronze statue of 46 meters high is the work of the sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, its iron frame was designed by Gustave Eiffel. The book is stored in 210 crates. The base, at the expense of the Americans, not being completed, the statue will be inaugurated only in October 1886.


Inauguration of the Statue of Liberty

US President Cleveland erects the statue of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi: “Freedom enlightening the world.” It is located on the island of Liberty Island in New York. France offered it to the United States to celebrate the Franco-American friendship during the war of independence. Built in molded copper plates, it has an iron frame designed by Gustave Eiffel.

After the War of 1870, Bartholdi made a trip to the United States, with the idea of designing a sculpture to celebrate American independence. Entering New York Bay on June 21, 1871, he imagines a colossal statue erected at the entrance of the harbor: Liberty illuminating the world. This work is directly inspired by the project developed for Suez. Bartholdi designed, with the help of Gustave Eiffel for the structure, a statue in copper strips on a steel frame measuring 33 meters high and placed on a pedestal 34 meters. This statue, made in Paris, was inaugurated in New York in 1886, and earned the author the title of citizen of New York.

This sculpture very quickly obtained a universal recognition and many replicas, of various dimensions, are realized, of which one of most famous decorates the end swallows of the Swan Island (bridge of Grenelle) in Paris since 1885. The most recent is erected at the northern entrance of Colmar in 2004, on the occasion of the centenary of the death of Bartholdi.

Patriotic inspiration and the sense of monumentality allowed Bartholdi to powerfully renew the tradition of public places sculpture.The birthplace of Bartholdi in Colmar was transformed into a museum in 1904 and presents the many aspects of his work as a sculptor, architect, painter and draftsman.




During a trip to Egypt, Auguste Bartholdi was enthused by the scheme of the Suez Canal whose construction and entrepreneurship was led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, who later became one of his most great friends. He thus imagined an immense lighthouse that would be located at the opening to the canal and those plans he drew. The lighthouse would be in the image of the goddess Libertas of the Roman pantheon, deity of freedom, but its representation had to be modified to look like an Egyptian girl in a dress (a fallaha). The light of the lighthouse is a shining place in the air, towards the heavens. Bartholdi presented his campaign to the Khedve Ismail Pasha in 1867 and again in 1869, but the project was not at all retained 33. The drawings in this project, Egypt Bringing Light to Asia or Freedom Brightening the East, are very similar to the Statue of Liberty, though Bartholdi has always claimed that the New York monument was not re-used, but an original work.


The project to build a lighthouse at the entrance of the Suez Canal was inspired by the Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built the Greek god of the sun, Helios, the colossus would have a size of about 30 meters, and also stood at the entrance to a torch to guide ships. The position of the colossus, legacy spread around the entrance, however, is different from that of the Statue of Liberty. It is also in statue of Apollo Helios, wearing a radiant crown, which was transformed into the colossal statue, more than thirty meters, from the Emperor Nero, when it was moved in front of the Colosseum by Hadrian.


The head of Liberty is directly inspired by the Great Seal of France, official symbol of the French Republic since the Second Republic in 1848. The two “liberties”, French and American, each bear a crown with seven branches symbolizing the seven seas and continents of the planet. Many other sources of inspiration are evoked, such as the statue of Liberty of the poetry breaking its chains (1883), a monument to Jean-Baptiste Niccolini by Pio Fedi in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, which Bartholdi could have seen. sketch on the spot in 1870 36the same year that Jules Lefebvre painted his painting The Truth and Bartholdi the first studies of his statue; While the theme of liberty already appeared with The Genie of Liberty (1836) on the column of July or in the painting of Liberty Leading the People (1830) of Delacroix.


Auguste Bartholdi, Son of Jean-Charles Bartholdi (1791-1836), councilor of the prefecture, and Charlotte Beysser, native of Ribeauvillé (1801-1891). Jeanne Emilie Baheux of Puysieux (1829-1914), in Newport, on December 20 1876. In 1836, after the death of the father, the family moved to Paris. Education at Lycée Louis Le Grand; attended successively the workshops of Antoine Etex, Ary Scheffer and Jean-François Soitoux. During this period, the statue of Agnès de Hergenheim , founder of the Convent of Unterlinden (1852), a bas-relief depicting Francoise de Rimini (1852). Present at the Salon a Good Samaritan (1853) and the polychrome group of Seven Swabians without success. Beginning in 1856, from July to October, a trip to Egypt with the “orientalist” painters Leon Belly, Imer, Jean Leon Gerome; discover a monumental art that will influence throughout his career. Author in 1856 of the statue of General Rapp in Colmar, his first great work. Won the first prize in the competition organized in 1857 by the city of Bordeaux to decorate the Place des Quinconces with a monumental fountain. This project will eventually see the light of day in Lyon in 1889. Retained by the city of Marseille (1858) for the architectural ensemble of the Longchamp Palace, which he designed. Completed in 1863 the fountain of Admiral Bruat which earned him the artistic notoriety and insignia of the Legion of Honor, Becomes an official artist and solicited. Created in 1861 the fountain and the statue of the colmarian painter Martin Schongauer, in 1864, the group of the modern Martyr celebrating Poland in the face of the greed of Prussia and Russia, the funerary monument of his fellow citizen Georges Nefftzer, co-founder of the Temps and the revue des Deux-Monde (1865), the statue of General Arrighi in Corte (1868), the statue of Vauban in Avallon (1870) and that of Vercingetorixin Clermont-Ferrand (1870). Specializes in historical and patriotic celebration. Meanwhile, after a new trip to Egypt, develops a monumental lighthouse project at the entrance of the Suez Canal (1869). This project, which will never see the day, announces the famous Liberty inaugurated twenty years later in New York. Frequent since 1865 Édouard de Laboulaye, professor at the College de France, member of the Institute, deputy then senator, craftsman and host of Franco-American friendship who dreams of France offering America a memorial to celebrate the American independence. During the events of 1870, took part in the battles of Colmar (September 14, 1870) as the Chief of Staff of the National Guard, then went to Tours where the Government of National Defense delegated to the Italian General Giuseppe Garibaldi who directs an ephemeral army of the Vosges. The 1870 war strongly permeated the sculptor’s artistic and ideological evolution. The Lion of Belfort , commanded in the aftermath of the conflict and completed in 1880, the Statue of Liberty, inaugurated on 28.10.1886, illustrate this way. They are both the masterpieces of the artist who must not forget the abundant national production including the statues of Champollion (1875) at the College de France, Gribeauval, the Invalides (1878), Lafayette in Paris (1878), Rouget de l’Isle at Lons-le-Saunier (1882), Diderot at Langres (1884), Switzerland rescuing Strasbourg , at Basle (1895), Gambetta , at Ville d’Avray (1891), Lafayette and Washington in Paris ( 1892), the Monument of the 3 seats in Belfort (1903), the funerary monument of Sergeant Hoff(1904) and that of the Aeronauts of the war 1870-71(1904). At the same time, despite his political choice, he contributed to the beautification of his hometown, by the Vigneron (1869), the Voulminot monument at the cemetery of Colmar (1872), the statue of Rœsselmann (1888), the Provost Colmarien, that of scholar GA Hirn (1894), the Lazare monument of Schwendi (1898) and the cooper who dominates the House of the Heads in Colmar since 1902. Official artist, today absent from most art history, Bartholdi is the antithesis of Rodin. Academic Master, he expresses his ideas and ideology of the III eRepublic using a traditional artistic language. It is not so much his art that made his reputation as his commitment skillfully exploited during his lifetime, but also after his death. Patriotism, the Republic, the American freedom, the French Alsace, the Resistance, were some lasting values that allowed the image of Bartholdi to continue. He had none the less some brilliant intuitions whose Liberty illuminating the World : by its site and its symbolism which long identified a whole continent, it is the perfect example of the work which surpassed the artist to the point of the to forget. It remains the most famous Alsatian artists of the 19th century.


French sculptor (born in Colmar April 2, 1834, died in Paris in October 1904), Bartholdi first worked with an architect from his hometown.  He left Colmar for Paris to study architecture. At the same time, he began painting and sculpture classes in Jean François Soitoux’s studio. In 1855, he accompanied the painter and sculptor Jean Léon Gérome during a trip to Greece and the Orient. On his return, he introduced Lyre among the Berbers at the Salon of 1857. Without doubt, by his training as an architect, he favors monumental sculpture. and executed mainly large-scale works. He executed many orders for his native region: the statue of General Rapp, the monument of Martin Schongauer, that of Admiral Bruat, the fountains of the Young Vintner and Lazare Schwendi. He sculpts several works of patriotic character, the most famous of which is the lion of Belfort, a work carved in the rock, in honor of the resistance of the city of Belfort. This monumental work, placed at the foot of the castle of Belfort, is twenty-two meters wide and eleven meters high.  The statue of liberty illuminating the world at the entrance to New York Harbor, on the occasion of the centennial of American independence, is one of his best-known works. His latest works are the monument of the three seats supported by the city of Belfort in the same century, a monument inaugurated in 1912, and that of the aeronauts of the Paris headquarters, raised in Neuilly-sur-Seine, at the roundabout of the Revolt. Bartholdi receives the Medal of Honor at the Salon of 1895, Switzerland helping the pain of Strasbourg during the siege of 1870. He was appointed Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1865, Officer in 1882 and Commander in 1887. He is a member of the committee of the Society of French Artists of which he was vice-president from 1900 to 1903.



•       The good Samaritan.

•       General Rapp. Colmar

•       The lyre among the Berbers, memory of the Nile. 1857 Salon

•       A genius with the claws of misery.

•       First President R

•       Andre Roberachts, violinist.

•       General Count Schramm.

•       Monument to Admiral Bruat

•       The modern martyr (Poland).

•       A veiled funerary genius, sitting on the ground, his head resting on his knees, in the attitude of deep pain.

•       Jean Thomas Arighi de Cassanova, Duke of Padua, Major General. Bronze statue.

•       Mr. Lorentz, Director of the School of Water and Forests.

•       Recreation for peace.

•       The Vintner drinking water or thirsty. Strasbourg, museum of modern and contemporary art.

•       Marshal Vauban. Avallon (Yonne).

•       The tomb of the National Guards of Colmar died fighting for the homeland in 1870.

•       Erckmann and Chatrian. •       The curse of Alsace. •       La Fayette arriving in America.

•       Grave of the landscape painter Salzmann.

•       Philadelphia Fountain

•       Champollion. Marble statue Paris, College of France.

•       The lion of Belfort. Belfort Castle (Belfort).

•       The lion of Belfort.

•       General Artillery Jean Baptiste Vaquette Gribeauval

•       Portrait of Maurice A

•       Portrait of Pierre C

•       Rouget de Lisle. Lons-le-Saunier (Jura).

•       Diderot

•       Gustave Jundt

•       Lafayette.

•       Freedom illuminates the world.

•       Freedom illuminates the world. Bronze reduction.

•       Freedom. Terracotta statuette. Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.

•       Fountain. Bronze group.

•       Monument of Paul Bert.

•       Roesselmann Fountain.

•       Rivers and springs en route to the ocean.

•       Funerary monument of M. H

•       Gambetta Monument.

•       Funerary monument of sculptor Soitoux, died in 1891.

•       Washington and La Fayette.

•       Adolphe Hirn, a member of the Institute, dies in 1890.

•       Switzerland relieves the pain of Strasbourg during the siege of 1870. Strasbourg (Haut-Rhin), Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Salon of 1895. (A reduction is at the Petit Palais).

•       Lazare Schwendi Fountain.

•       The Saône carrying its tributaries.

•       Monument of French soldiers who died in Schinznach (Switzerland) in 1870.

•       Christopher Colombus . Sens (Yonne), Municipal Museum.

•       MP Guichard.

•       Lafayette in his youth.

•       The great supporters of the world: Work, Patriotism, the. Justice. Colmar (Haut-Rhin), Bartholdi museum.

•       The Alsatian cooper. Colmar (Haut-Rhin).

•       Monument to the three seats supported by the city of Belfort during the same century.

•       Vercingetorix. Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dome).

•       Sergeant Hoff.

•       Monument of the aeronauts of the Parisian headquarters.

•       Tomb of Emile Hubner. Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), cemetery.


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